More than 100 years after it was first attempted, two Britons will be honoring the legacy of iconic British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott by setting out to complete his ill-fated Terra Nova expedition, described as one of the most challenging journeys in human history. It will be the first time in more than 100 years that Scott’s journey has been attempted, and is being undertaken under the patronage of his grandson, Falcon Scott. Poignantly, it was on the eve of Captain Scott’s birthday that polar explorers Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere announced their intention to depart for the South Pole. At 1,800 miles (equivalent to 69 back-to-back marathons) it will be the longest unsupported polar journey in history. Ben and Tarka will use new 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor technology to upload videos, photos, blogs and key data in near real-time as the trip progresses. Walking an average of 9.5 hours per day, Ben and Tarka are expected to take 110 days to complete the Scott Expedition.
“The Scott Expedition will be both the greatest and most meaningful challenge I’ve ever taken on. Physically, it sits on the very limits of human potential and will require every inch of resilience and determination we can summon to complete it,” Ben admitted. “Equally, it is an opportunity to recognise the remarkable work of Captain Scott and his men and use the benefits of modern technology to celebrate his story worldwide. Completing Scott’s Terra Nova expedition is a life-long dream of mine.” Expedition patron Falcon Scott, grandson of Robert Falcon Scott, added: ‘The Scott Expedition will be a truly exceptional and meaningful way to recognise and commemorate my grandfather’s expedition to the South Pole. It is extraordinary to think that nobody has since successfully replicated his expedition and I fully support Ben and Tarka in this bold venture. I am very proud to be a Patron.”
Departing from Scott’s Hut on the north shore of Cape Evans on Ross Island, Antarctica, Ben and Tarka will traverse the Ross Ice Shelf, before climbing nearly 8000ft on one of the world’s largest glaciers, the Beardmore Glacier, on to the Antarctica Plateau before traveling onwards to the South Pole. From the Pole, it’s back 900 miles the way they came, finishing where they began at Scott’s Hut – all whilst enduring temperatures of -50 degrees. They will also consume almost 6,000 calories a day to maintain the strength necessary to haul the 200kg of kit and supplies they will require to complete the journey unsupported.
Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director for Land Rover (one of the Scott Expedition’s sponsors), said: “I have huge admiration for Ben and Tarka as their expedition will demand the highest levels of physical and mental fortitude and sheer determination to succeed. The Scott Expedition is an enormous challenge that honours a heroic spirit of adventure that has endured for more than 100 years, and there are very good reasons why no one in history has ever completed this epic polar expedition! We are pleased to support Ben and the expedition team in their exceptional ambition.”
Robert Swann OBE, a Scott Expedition patron and the first to walk to the North and South poles, said: “What Ben and Tarka are attempting is extraordinary. To complete the mission unsupported will add to the history books and be a fitting tribute to Scott and his team. This is a definitive polar journey to mark the achievements of one of the greatest British explorers of all time.’’